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May 31, 2019

Pilot in Cape May Point plane crash identified as Monmouth County man

Officials say Lawrence Klimek, 58, of Howell, was the only person in the aircraft at the time it went down in the water near the Cape May Lighthouse

Investigations Plane Crashes
U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape May plane crash U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape May/Facebook

A U.S. Coast Guard boat searches for the pilot and the plane that crashed Wednesday morning off Cape May Point.

The pilot of the small plane that crashed off Cape May Point on Wednesday was identified Friday by New Jersey State Police as Lawrence Klimek, a 58-year-old resident of Howell, Monmouth County.

Police said in a release Friday that operations still are ongoing to recover the pilot and the aircraft. The search for Klimek is being conducted by the New Jersey State Police, while recovery of the aircraft is being conducted by a private salvage company.

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According to the FAA's database, Klimek was issued his commercial pilot's license on Jan. 11, 2016, and was rated for single-engine airplanes. 

The plane's location was identified Thursday, but it remains in about 18 feet of water in the water, according to The Press of AC.

The cause of the crash still is under investigation by both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, police said Friday.

On Wednesday, a beachgoer recorded a brief video of the plane just moments before it hit the water:

Officials said on Wednesday that Klimek was the only person aboard the aircraft, a Mooney M20J plane. It crashed roughly 1,200 feet away from the Cape May Lighthouse just after 11:40 a.m., after leaving the Trenton-Robbinsville Airport around 8 a.m., according to the FAA.

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